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contumacy

[kon-too-muh-see, -tyoo-]
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noun, plural con·tu·ma·cies.
  1. stubborn perverseness or rebelliousness; willful and obstinate resistance or disobedience to authority.
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Origin of contumacy

1150–1200; Middle English contumacie < Latin contumācia, equivalent to contumāc-, stem of contumāx unyielding, stubborn (con- con- + -tum- of uncertain sense, though connected by classical authors with both contemnere to regard with contempt and tumēre to swell) + -āx adj. suffix) + -ia -ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

insubordinationrecalcitrancedisobediencerefractorinesscontemptrebelliousness

Examples from the Web for contumacy

Historical Examples

  • As they failed to appear they were condemned for contumacy and deposed.

    An Introduction to the History of Western Europe

    James Harvey Robinson

  • If he has proceeded since, I shall hold him accountable for his contumacy.

  • To question his imbecile ideas is to stand in contumacy of the revelation of God.

    The American Credo

    George Jean Nathan

  • He, however, added to his contumacy by surviving until his ninety-second year.

  • But can the king forgive your intercession and Warwick's contumacy?


British Dictionary definitions for contumacy

contumacy

noun plural -cies
  1. obstinate and wilful rebelliousness or resistance to authority; insubordination; disobedience
  2. the wilful refusal of a person to appear before a court or to comply with a court order
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Word Origin

C14: from Latin contumācia, from contumāx obstinate; related to tumēre to swell, be proud
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for contumacy

n.

late 14c., from Latin contumacia "haughtiness, insolence," noun of quality from contumax (see contumely).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper